Have you ever run out of formula late at night and panicked, not knowing what to do? The retail stores and local supermarkets in your area are closed, and you can’t seem to think of where you will buy the formula. You start worrying about how you’ll feed your baby and what other formula alternatives are there.
Running out of formula, especially at night, sucks. And if you’re dreading the moment when that will happen, then this article is for you. Here are various places you can buy formula late at night should you run out of the same.
Places to Buy Where To Buy Formula Late At Night
If you live in the US, then you’d probably agree with me that Walmart may be the most realistic and your best place to buy formula. There are around 4,700 Walmart Supercenters across the country, and most likely, you live within driving distance of one. And the odds are also good that it operates 24-hours or until late at night.
Walmart should give you a variety of formulas to choose from major brands like Similac, Enfamil, and Gerber and other less popular brands like Earth’s Best. Parent’s Choice, their store brand, also provides formulations for children with allergies and sensitivities that can save you.
Try to consider big-box retailers like Walmart first when you want to buy formula late at night before trying other areas.
Like Walmart, drugstores like CVS mainly operate 24 hours. Drugstores like Walgreens and CVS are available almost everywhere. So, even if you stay outside a city, most likely, there’s a CVS or Walgreens nearby.
Note that the price and the actual selection of formulas at drugstores is worse than at supercenters. Drugstores usually price non-pharmacy items like baby formula, household goods, and food higher than pharmaceuticals.
However, you should be able to find a formula that can work for you because drugstores usually stock a fair selection of formulas from popular brands like Gerber, Similac, and Enfamil.
Target is a major retailer that sells a wide variety of formulas. However, they don’t operate 24 hours. Most Target stores close at 10 pm, with others running until midnight.
So, anytime you run out of formula and it’s before 10 pm, consider Target. It’s an excellent place to buy formula than drugstores as they’re relatively affordable, and you won’t be overcharged. And if luck is on your side, Target may still be open before midnight.
You should find various formula brands from Target like Enfamil, Similac, and Gerber. Target also has a store brand, Up&Up, which contains special formulas for allergies and sensitive stomachs alongside regular cow’s milk formula.
Gas stations operate 24 hours and usually don’t stock formulas. But if you’re lucky, you may find gas stations with baby formulas. So, it’s worth trying. And if at all you get a formula, remember to check the expiration date as it may have been on the shelf for some time. Note that buying baby formulas from gas stations is more expensive than in stores.
What To Do When You Lack Formula Late At Night
Sometimes even after trying all the options above, you can’t manage to buy baby formula. What should you do in such a case? Read on!
Consult Your Pediatrician
If you run out of the formula you usually give your child, consider consulting your pediatrician first before making any move. Depending on your baby’s age, developmental milestones, and initial weight, your pediatrician can help you establish what to do next.
Consider Switching Formulas
Sometimes you may run out of formula at night, and the ones available in stores are different from what you usually give your child. In such a case, it’s okay to buy other formulas with the same nutrient composition as your current formula. However, if your baby has special medical or dietary conditions, it’s crucial to talk to your pediatrician so that they can advise you on the best alternatives.
Look For A Local Food Bank
Local food banks can come in handy and offer you formula during such times. The Community Action Agency and United Way’s 2-1-1 are good examples of food banks that can help you. You can also try Feeding America food bank. Or dial 211 and get connected to a United Way agent who can help you find food pantries and other formula sources.
Contact WIC Office
If you need help buying formula, the best place to start is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The WIC can help you obtain the baby formula.
Go To Breast Milk Bank
If your baby is below six months and has not started eating solid foods, they may benefit from breast milk. According to the HHS, a breast milk bank distribute milk to mothers in dire need. And since the milk quantity is usually small, it’s reserved for preterm infants and often needs a prescription. Thus, it may be worth to try reaching out to a breast milk bank if you have a preterm infant.
Use Social Media
Besides governments and non-profit organizations, social media can help you find baby formula. Local parenting groups can be helpful as parents share a lot about where they recently obtained their formulas. Facebook groups are significantly more popular, and the community section of some sites like BabyCenter can also come in handy. Some parents may even decide to tip off other parents or share their formula to take you through the night.
Focus On Food
If your baby is above six months and they’ve started eating solid foods, maximize on that. Focus more on healthy foods like lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy carbs, and they’ll be good to go.
Consider Cow’s Milk
If your baby is above six months and hasn’t started solids yet, you may consider giving them cow’s milk temporarily. Although cow’s milk is not recommended until one year, it may be the only remaining option.
Running out of formula at night can be hectic. If that happens to you, try finding out from Walmart, CVS, Target, or gas stations. If you’re unsuccessful, consult your pediatrician or contact your WIC. You can also try your luck at the milk bank or just focus on solids if your baby is older.